Giveaway: Handmade Shawl from Aubrey at High-Heeled Love

Hello lovely readers!  If you've been around long, you'll know that I have a long-standing friendship with the lovely Aubrey from High-Heeled Love.  I met her in my first or second year of blogging here on My So-Called Chaos and have been so lucky to call her friend.  We've grown together in blogging, we've talked about personal things in private, and we've made plans to visit each other one of these days-and dang it-it will happen!

For those of you who don't know Aubrey, here are some important things I think you should know:

♥ She's married, and with her husband they like to eat and cook with local veggies, and do a little gardening themselves. They run a second blog called A Little Seed Grows where they share some of that wisdom with you.

♥ They have two dogs, one of which they recently adopted is a little Pitbull.  Some of you may know that I'm a Pitbull advocate, so I love that sweet Aubrey and her awesome husband David are now getting behind the cause.  It's hard not to when you look at this sweet face:

Aubrey is a badass.  Seriously.  She runs her own business AND she takes Jujitsu, which teaches her discipline and keeps her in shape-it's been great to see her grow and get stronger with her training.

♥ Even with all this going on, she still finds the time to create awesome things and see to her blog-which we all know is hard.  She's truly a great bloggy friend, so you should definitely follow along with her.  You should also make sure you check out her linky parties.  Each Friday she hosts a Friday Confessional, on Sundays she co-hosts The Weekly Round-Up with yours truly, and she obsesses over wine at her Wino Wednesday and occasionally shoes at her Shoe-Lust Saturday.  Honestly, shoes, wine, and coffee are all things she's quite the aficionado on.

Aubrey is offering one lucky winner a gorgeous handmade shawl she made herself! Giveaway is open worldwide, and ends on Thursday, March 12th at 12AM.  Look how lovely it is:

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2015 Best of Blog Awards: Voting Round 1

Woohoo, we got lots of fabulous nominations-how fun!  I've narrowed it down to the top 10 nominations (no one can be nominated for more than three categories) so now it's time to vote!

Step 1: Nominations - Complete!

Step 2: Voting
Voting will last exactly 1 week, starting at 7AM MST on Tuesday, March 3rd and ending at NOON/12PM MST on Tuesday, March 10th.  At this time there will be a new post with a form for voting for the people who were nominated.

Step 3: Final Voting
Final voting will last exactly 1 week, starting at 7AM on Thursday, March 12th and ending at NOON/12PM MST on Thursday, March 19th.  There will be a new post with the top three contestants in each category listed for final voting during this time.

Step 4: Awards
The Awards post will go up on Wednesday, March 25th listing the final winners in each category! Winners will all get a special badge to put on their blog if they wish, and a special extra prize which is outlined as follows:
  • Niche Blog Awards: 1 month 450x100 ad space (scheduled in advance throughout the year)
  • Non-Niche Blog Awards: 1 month 450x200 ad space  (scheduled in advance throughout the year)
  • Best Overall Blog: 1 month 450x300 ad space  (scheduled in advance throughout the year)
  • Post Awards: Option to re-post their winning post here as a guest post (with a feature introduction about them in the post and links back to their blog and social media)
  • Social Media Awards: Twitter & Facebook features on the My So-Called Chaos pages.
  • Small Business Awards: 1 month 450x100 ad space  (scheduled in advance throughout the year)

First of all, congratulations!  You deserve it! Feel free to snag this button and share this post so people know and can vote for you-asking people to vote for you is totally okay.  :)  The button size is actually 750x750-but I've made it 400x400 here, and put that in the coding-just changed the width="400" height="400" section to be what you need it to be.

Vote for one person in each category.  Since this is just voting I've made all categories mandatory-so if you don't know any of them in the category feel free to go ahead and check out their links and choose, or feel free to just choose one, however you prefer to do it.  (I hope you'll take the time to get to know them though-that's half of what this is all about! :)

*Note* I'm not going to lie... There were quite a few people who broke the rules and either only nominated themselves for one thing and no one else, or nominated the same person more than three categories, in which case they were typically not counted.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THIS IS ALL IN GOOD FUN.  There were some concerns shared last year about people inflating numbers, etc. But guys, this is just a fun little thing... Please don't stress about it in anyway.  Here are some simple do's and don'ts, and hey-if you want to go through and vote multiple times sure, but it's time consuming since you do need to select someone in each category-so I don't recommend it.  :)
  • DO vote for someone in each category. Take the time to find new blogs, or just select someone by name or something if you don't have time to get to know them in depth and you don't know anyone listed.
  • DO feel free to vote for yourself.
  • DO feel free to vote for your friends.
  • DO feel free to grab the button button above and post it on your blog, sidebar, etc. linking back here.
  • DO ask your friends to vote for you.

Enter to win a $25 Etsy Gift Card.  Giveaway runs from 7AM MST 2/19/15 and ends at 11:59PM MST on the last day of voting, 3/19/15.  Giveaway is open worldwide, and entering the giveaway below agrees to all terms and conditions within the Rafflecopter.

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March 12x30 Challenge: No Spending

Wow, can you believe it's March already?  I certainly can't... Time just seems to go by faster and faster the older I get.  But, since it's March now, I guess that means it's time to announce the No Spending challenge as part of our 12x30 Challenge!  Are you excited?

I'm going to be totally honest and say that I'm not exactly sure how much I'll stick to No Spending this month, but what I am going to work on is being better with my money.  That means I'm going to be setting some goals to help me get my finances in order and help clean up some of my bills.  You may want to jump on board with a month of no-spending-and if so that is AWESOME. Seriously.

Ways to participate this month:
  • Make a no spending rule. This typically means no "frivolous" spending.  So stuff like groceries, gas, etc. is still necessary.
  • Start a Budget.  Whether you're spending or not this month, budgets are a great thing to get in control of.
  • Set a goal to pay off debt.  Put a plan into action to pay off your debt.  Whether it's a goal to have X amount of debt paid off by the end of the month, or a plan to pay more or on time better-just get started.
  • File your taxes & be responsible with the tax return.  If you haven't done this already, it's best to tackle it as early as possible.  I've already filed, received my return, and paid off all credit card debt with it.
  • Open a Saving's Account.  If you don't have one already, this is a MUST for financial health. 
  • How do you handle debt?
  • Tips & Tricks for Better Finances
  • How do you spend your money?  Give us a breakdown of where it all goes. (Useful for you to see also.)
  • What tools do you use to manage your finances?
  • Who handles the finances in your family?  You? Your husband? Your parents?  Why?
  • Where do you go for financial advice?
  • Share your favorite finance-related pins and websites.
  • What are your financial goals?
  • Showcase your savings from not spending this month.

Link up your posts that are related to saving money, managing finances, and not spending in March!

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